Subject: Welcome our new Interim Conference Minister - Randy Hyvonen!
From: Southeast Conference UCC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:40 AM
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South Carolina <
SOUTHEAST UCC Conference
New Interim Conference Minister Called!
The Board of Directors has called Rev. Randall Hyvonen to serve as Interim Conference Minister. Randy is an "old
hand" at conference ministry, having served 8 years in the Pacific Northwest Conference, followed by 6 years in
Montana-Northern Wyoming, from which he retired in 2011. Prior to that, he served in local church and
association ministry since ordination in 1973. The Board was impressed with Randy's experience, his calm
demeanor, and his approach to ministry. He brings specific experience in the areas of managing transitions within
conferences, guidance of leadership and ministerial development programs, and management of conference
finances. We think he will provide valuable support and leadership of conference staff, as well as local church
Randy is a native of Montana and has spent most of his life in the Midwest and Northwest, except for time at
Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville. He and his wife, Karen, will settle into temporary quarters in Atlanta after
celebrating the 95th birthday of Karen's father in Seattle. Randy will start work in the Conference on July 24.
(Actually, he's already meeting with staff and handling some urgent business by telephone.) He already has plans
to visit our new church start in Pensacola his first weekend "on the job."
Please join with the Board and me in welcoming Randy to the diversity, charm, and energy of the Southeast
A word from Randy Hyvonen, our new Interim Conference Minister
I'm very pleased to be called to serve as your interim Conference Minister until you
call a Designated Conference Minister. Having attended Vanderbilt Divinity School
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from 1969-1973, I feel that in conning to serve among you I am also reconnecting with
parts of my own faith journey (and family history - the first of our 3 children was born
in Nashville). And I feel additional ties with you: your previous Conference Minister,
the late Roger Knight, succeeded me as the pastor of the inner city church I served for
10 years in Cleveland, then retired to Uplands, where Karen and I have additional
friends we've come to know over my years of ministry in the wider UCC.
I hope that my experience of diverse ministries over large geographies will be
beneficial for you as we "bridge the gap" together. And I trust that as we work
I together, God will call us not only to uphold all that has been good about your history
but also to grow in new ways!
NEW Conference Website!
New Website and Connection Program
The Southeast Conference Website has a new design,
easy access to news and events, and resizes to fit
your screen, whether you are using a phone, iPad,
tablet, or laptop. We'd like to make this even more
interactive for churches in the Conference!
Congregations can now appoint members to be
"Social Networking Partners" with the ability to post
news, stories, and event information directly to the
website to promote what your community is doing
and connect with other SEC congregations!
How does your church get connected?
Contact Chris Lyman Waldron at
clwaldron(g)secucc.orq or you can call the Conference
Office. You'll be able to sign up for training on how to
use these exciting new tools.
General Synod Recap
Stories from our delegates
Another UCC First... New Environmental
by Debbie Spearman
Passed by General Synod 29 delegates on Monday
July 1st, 2013 at the Long Beach Convention Center
was a resolution that calls for the UCC to divest of any
Fossil Fuel companies in it's investment funds. This
resolution is the "first of it's kind" by any national
David Sigmund and Jay Greaves, were married at
General Synod 29 in Long Beach, California! The
wedding was officiated by Rev. Susannah Davis from
Kirkwood UCC and activist Rev. Mel White. Click here
to read more from our website.
News from the Conference and Associations
Conference Minister Search Report
Southeast Conference Family,
On behalf of the Conference Board and Search Committee, I
thank you for your presence, input, and support expressed
at our annual meeting in mid-June. Together, we
experienced wonderful times of fellowship, worship, ideas
sharing, and story-telling. To follow-up on those
conversations and to include those who were not able to
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faith community. Tiiis resolution calls for divestment
by June 2018, which directly affects the strategies of
our UCC United Church funds and the Pension Board.
Both entities supported the resolution.
Click here to read more
Resolution responds to violence in Honduras
By Carrole Moss
A resolution calling for a response to "drug related
gang violence in Honduras" was submitted to this
General Synod by the Maine conference. The Maine
Conference has worked in partnership for over a
decade with our Honduran brothers and sisters in
support of peace and justice.
The Twenty-ninth General Synod of the United Church
encourages the churches of the UnitedChurch of
Christ to call on out governmental leaders to reassess
and recreate our U. S. Foreign policy to address the
situation of human rights violations, illegal drug
trafficking and violence that impact the quality of life
for all those involved.
Click here to read more
General Synod recognizes the need of care for
by Jennifer Spears
The proposed resolution "Compassionate Care and
Healing Ministry to our Veterans" drew quite a crowd
during the Educational Intensive on Friday, June 28th.
Many of the members of this committee were
veterans, like myself. The Rev. Stephen Boyd of the
Chaplain's Office at the national level spoke at length
about what the resolution would actually do, and that
it had mainly in response to the huge loss of veterans
from church life after they returned home from
overseas tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He
emphasized that, of the veterans who were regular
churchgoers before they went out on combat tours,
85 percent did not return to church when they arrived
Click here to read more
Restructuring Conference Boundaries or Hymn
Singing. ..During Committee Meeting?
By Leah Lyman Waldron
I've had the privilege of serving as a delegate on the
attend, I would like to share information about where we
are in the Designated Conference Minister search process.
As we discussed at annual meeting, the Search Committee
has been charged with identifying, vetting, and
recommending to the Conference a Designated Conference
The Search Committee has been prayerfully and diligently
working on the conference's behalf since January 2013.
Over the last several months, we have developed a job
description and a conference profile, and have posted the
position on the UCC search list. Additionally, as I write this,
several members of the committee are at the 29th UCC
General Synod and representing the conference on this
The job description, conference profile, and an audio file of
our welcoming poem are available at the SECUCC website
by clicking here.
The Search Committee is now in the process of developing
criteria statements and interview questions. We would love
to receive your input on this process! To provide input,
simply complete and submit by July 31 the related
questionnaire by clicking here. Your input will be faithfully
compiled, considered, and incorporated by the committee.
We anticipate receiving candidate applications and ministry
profiles throughout the summer, interviewing and vetting
candidates throughout the fall, and recommending a
Designated Conference Minister to the conference in the
Finally, we covet your prayers during this time and invite all
our congregations to participate together in "Second
Sunday Search" moments. These are moments when
congregations spend a few minutes the second Sunday of
each month beginning July 14 to intentionally pray for the
conference and/or include a conference-minded reading,
meditation, or other expression of worship. The purpose of
this is to remind us all that we are one in Christ and
connected in ministry with each other through our
conference relationships. Just imagine what a wonderful
experience and outcome we can have in this process with
our FULL conference actively engaging and inviting God into
it! I hope that you will access related worship materials the
Search Committee has developed by clicking here and join
us in being Church together in this worship and
If you have questions about the Search or want to
recommend a potential candidate to us, please feel free to
email me at vol firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your time, your prayers, and your love of our
Blessings & Peace,
Search Committee Cliair
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7/25/13 9:38 AM
committee tasked witli considering General Synod
Resolution #11, "Restructuring Conference
Boundaries." The title is a bit misleading, as the
resolution's purpose is really to encourage
Conferences to have vigorous conversation about how
to revitalize Conferences to better fulfill their missions
and ministries as part of Christ's body in the UCC.
Avenues for revitalization include sharing resources
among Conferences, "out of the box" thinking about
partnerships with other Conferences and their
covenant partners (and even other denominations),
and potentially reconfiguring Conference boundaries,
all drawing on the resources and facilitative ability of
the National Setting. Per the Constitution of the UCC,
any reconfiguration of Conference boundaries would
have to begin at the Conference level and later be
approved by a future General Synod.
Click here to read more
For more stories about the 29th General Synod click
Disaster Preparedness Webinar
Are you ready if disaster strikes your
Join the Emergency Response Team of Church World
Service (CWS) on Tuesday, August 6, at 2 p.m. EST
for "Disaster Preparedness," a webinar that will
discuss important details often overlooked while
preparing for an emergency.
The Emergency Response Specialists will discuss what
to expect when disaster strikes. Individuals and
families are often not aware of the important steps
during relief and recovery, leaving many hopeless in
the wake of a disaster. For this reason it is important
to know where to turn in an emergency. From
Disaster Case Management (DCM) to Emotional and
Spiritual Care, this webinar will inform you of the
important details to consider, keeping you from
becoming a disaster "victim."
Click here to register
Hope you can join us!
Reflection on China and Theological Education
by Rev. Sarah Kim
Written in Chinese, China literally means the "Middle
Land." The country does occupy a huge portion of the
land in the middle of the globe with its 1.3 billion
large population. That's four times the U.S.
population, and 20% of the world population.
Last May, I have had the privilege of visiting China,
made possible by the Brown Grant (General
Ministries, UCC) for a continuing education excursion
that was attached to my trip to Korea, which I will
discuss in my next report. I met our host Rev. Dr.
Xiaoling Zhu (Global Ministries, UCC) in Beijing and
traveled to Shanghai and Nanjing with ten members
of the Asian Pacific Forum, a group of ecumenical
church leaders from various locations in the U.S., who
works with Asian partners on global ministries.
Together we visited Yanjing Theological Seminary
(Beijing), China Christian Council (Shanghai), and
Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (Nanjing), to
learn, share, and strengthen ties for collaborative
work around theological education and church and
Click here to read more about theological education
and China on the PATHWAYS website!
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